BIA/Kelsey Predicts Slow, Steady Radio Economic Recovery

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BIA/Kelsey Predicts Slow, Steady Radio Economic Recovery

Dec 2, 2009 4:39 PM

Chantilly, VA - Dec 2, 2009 - Radio stations across the country were battered by the economy this year, with the scars revealing the industry will end 2009 with revenues of $13.3 billion, a 19 percent decrease from last year, according to BIA/Kelsey's third edition of its quarterly Investing In Radio Market Report. Recovery will be seen in the second half of 2010, with BIA/Kelsey expecting traditional radio revenues to rise to $13.5 billion. Analysts at BIA/Kelsey continue to see online and, in particular, mobile, giving radio a further increase in revenues as stations embrace cross-platforms and begin integrating them directly into their sales strategies. In 2009 online revenues will bring the industry an additional $382 million (up from $342 million in 2008). BIA/Kelsey forecasts the number will rise to $459 million in 2010 and by the end of 2013 the compound annual growth rate for online revenues will have increased nearly 16 percent.

BIA/Kelsey supports its optimistic forecast by saying "radio has strong brand equity in local markets, the economy is slowly coming out of recession, the industry continues to show strong listenership levels with teens and younger adults, and the possible introduction of FM radio receiving chips in cellular phones will generate both a positive image effect on radio and an increase in radio listening."

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As stations begin capitalizing on new media models for radio, they will keep their listeners engaged throughout the day. BIA/Kelsey sees local mobile search and local mobile video as particularly strong categories where radio can build on its strong brand equity in local markets and compete well with third-party partners. The trick is to demonstrate to local advertisers that their message can be effectively bridged between media.

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